BOOK REVIEW : THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO BY ALEXANDRE DUMAS, MANGA CLASSICS BY STACY KING
TITLE : Manga Classics : The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
AUTHOR : Alexandre Dumas
AUTHOR & STORY ADAPTATION : Stacy King
STORY ADAPTATION : Crystal S Chan
ART : Nokman Poon
GENRE : Manga/Graphic Novel/Sequential Art, Classics, Historical Fiction
FBRC RATING : 4.5 Stars
A Conspiracy and a miscarriage of justice turn the gentle Edmond Dantès into an implacable agent of fate: The Count of Monte Cristo . Obsessed by vengeance and empowered by providence, the Count avenges himself on whose who have wronged him – but is this justice, or is this hubris? In the end, does even the Count know?
Alexandre Dumas’ skillful narrative combines intrigue, betrayal, and triumphant revenge into a powerful conflict between good and evil. Now this exciting saga, rich and diverse, takes on an entirely new life in this Manga Classics adaptation!
FBRC REVIEW :
DISCLAIMER : I received an advanced review copy for free from Netgalley, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
I would love to thank Netgalley and Udon Entertainment for providing me with the ARC of this book. It was a delightful experience. I loved this book so much. The first time I read the abridged version of the book is in 12th grade. Even though I don’t remember all the details, I remember enjoying the story so much. The book pulls at you with the remarkable tale of betrayal, vengeance, and hope. The original version is something I want to read. Hearing it is about 1000+ pages is daunting. Hopefully, I get to read it one day.
The manga version helped me in reading the Classic without having to read the original. The story and its essence were not sacrificed. I feel justice was done to the original by Stacy and Crystal. They have done an amazing job by adapting it and making it their own. The artwork and illustrations by Nokman Poon were brilliant. The book gives you the visual experience without all the details bombarding you. I found it easy to navigate through the Manga and the plot was easy to follow as well.
The Manga adaptation, in my opinion, helps readers enjoy classics without the daunting effect of having to read through a hefty book like this one. You can enjoy the story, follow the characters and enjoy the artwork along with it. The author has done a spectacular job of condensing and trimming the story without it losing its originality and essence. I loved the fact that they included their process and sketches as well with the readers. It helped in understanding their reasons and process through this book.
As far as the story goes I loved how dark and grey it was. Morally grey characters and vengefulness just propels the story forward. I liked how Dantes in his naivety and kindness never once considered that he could be betrayed. He simply didn’t consider the possibility of enemies. It was his naivety that cost him his losses in life. The fact that he goes from being this very good person to the man driven by hatred and vengeance is quite a sight to behold. I loved how respectful he was towards Abbe Faria and how eager he was to learn from him. I remember loving their relationship when I read it back in school. The Manga version doesn’t focus too much on their interactions in detail but gives us the important facts enough to understand the story and his importance and influence on Dantes.
My favorite characters in this book were Edmond Dantes and Haydee. I loved how strong Haydee was despite the terrible trauma she went through. The way she loved Edmond was painful as it was unreciprocated. Her loyalty and love for Dantes are evident in her behavior towards him. Even though she is very young she possessed the strength to face people who wronged her and stand on her own. She wasn’t afraid to stand up to Dantes either and speaking her mind. Dantes is a great character with an interesting arc. His transformation from the innocent, unassuming to the cold, calculated, vengeful man is astonishing to see. The transformation helps us to see how a human, when pushed to the limits, might react. His demand for justice and repentance for the sins committed helps us understand his psyche better.
The story mainly focuses on Dantes life and his revenge plans and how he executes them. I remember the escape and the time in Chateau D’if as some of the most captivating moments in the abridged version of the book. The manga version doesn’t include his escape or doesn’t give that much importance to it. I understand why they had to do it. I believe if we are reading the original, then we will get a completely different, unique experience. The setting of the prison, the places will be described in detail giving us a feel of the place. Overall the manga has done the story beautifully concentrating on the central theme of the book.
Every revenge plan he prepares for the people who wronged him is so clever and effective in bringing them down. The choices Dantes makes and the way he calls himself to be doing God’s plan is interesting. I am not sure if Haydee and Dantes get a happy ending in the original as it wasn’t in the abridged version I read. The Manga ends on the positive note of hope and waiting. The story also teaches the importance of patience and perseverance. It also shines a light on the choices and sacrifices one makes in pursuit of justice. The struggles Dantes faces when having to save an innocent life or destroy the family of the man who wronged you will pull at your conscience. His reaction to the death of an innocent young child, who paid the price for his parent’s crimes is very telling of who he is fundamental as an individual. This book will make us question our own morality when at times we feel Dantes is justified in seeking his revenge. A great book with the storyline that will hook you and sink you in it.
Definitely check this book out, it’s guranteed to give you a unique experience. Let me know in the comment section down below which Manga is your favorite.